By Marjorie Matthews,2014-08-25 05:25
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     Chapter 5 Semantics

Sense Relation

Sense Relation between Words

1. Synonymy

    --Synonymy is used to mean sameness or close similarity of meaning.

    --English is rich in synonyms for historical reasons.

--Most synonyms don’t have exactly the same meaning.

    A. Dialectal synonyms: some set of synonyms belong to different dialect of the


B. Stylistic synonyms: some belong to different styles or differ in the degree of


    C. some differ in their emotive or evaluative meaning. D. Collocational synonyms: some are collocatively restricted.

E. Semantically different synonyms

2. Antonymy

    --def: antonymy is used to mean oppositeness of meaning

     words that are opposite in meaning are called antonyms.

    --true synonyms are rare, but antonyms are common in langs.

--kinds of antonyms

A. gradable antonyms

B. Complementary A.

    --A pair of CA is characterized by the feature that the denial of one member

    implies the assertion of the other.

    C. Relational A.

    --it refers to the pair f words which exhibit the reversal of a relationship between


3. Hyponymy

    --def: it refers to a relationship of two words in which the meaning of one includes the meaning of the other.

     --the more general term, which exhibits “genus” is called a superordinate

     --the more specific one, which signals “species” is called hyponym

     --hyponyms which have the same superordinate is called co-hyponyms.

4. Polysemy

    --def: it refers to a lexical item having a range of different meanings. 5. Homonymy

    --def: it refers to the phenomenon that pairs or groups of words which, though differ in meaning, are pronounced alike or spelled alike, or both.

--types of hyponyms

    A. perfect H.

    B. homophone

    C. homographs

Componential Analysis a way to analyze word meaning

    I. def: ~ is an approach to the study of meaning which analyzes a word nto a set of meaning components called semantic features.


    HUMAN man woman Child

    BOVINE bull cow Calf

    GALLINE rooster hen Chicken

Sentence Meaning: Katz’s Semantic Theory

    There are two approaches to meaning from philosophical division: 1) representational approach (such as Kratz’s theory) involving the discovering the conceptual structure that underlying language; the search for meaning is the search for mental representation; 2) denotational approach (such as formal semantics) which involves understanding whether the meaning of an utterance is being able to match with the situation it describes. The search for meaning is the search for how the symbols of language relate/match to the reality. A successful match is called true; an unsuccessful one is called false.

I. Structure of the theory and its aims

     {Grammatical classification}

     dictionary (semantic markers) Katz’s theory semantic information

     Projection rules [distinguishers]

     Universally applicable metalanguage

    II. Katz’s dictionary


    Bachelor {Nc}

    a. (human) (man) [one who has never been married]

    b. (human) (man) [young knight serving under the standard of another knight] c. (human) [one who has the first or lowest academic degree] d. (animal) (male) [young fur seal without a mate in the breeding season] --{ }: detail grammatical classification

    --2 types of semantic information

     --(semantic markers)语义标记: which are the links binding the vocabulary together and are responsible for the lexical relations;

     --[distinguisher] 辨义成分: the word-specific semantic information that identifies the lexical items.

    *Katz builds into his theory the common sense that part of the word’s meaning is

    shared with other words and part is unique to that specific word.

III. projection rules

    --this theory was designed to be part of a Chomskyan Generative Grammar> the rules interface with a generative syntactic component operating on tree diagrams. 3.1 amalgamation process ?合并?

    the diagram: referring to P176 in the course book.

3.2 selection restrictions

    --shown in angle brackets < >

Formal Semantics / Logic Semantics

    I. proposition

    --P is the unit of meaning which constitutes the subject-matter of a statement in the form of simple declarative sentence.

II. Propositional logic(命题逻辑)

    2.1 logic and truth

    --truth is taken to mean a correspondence / match with facts, or, correct description of

    states of affairs in the world.

    --a sentence’s being true or false is called its truth value. And every proposition has a

    truth value.

--the facts that would have to obtain in reality to make a sentence true or false is

    called its truth condition.

    2.2 propositional logic

    --the study of the truth conditions (真值条件) for propositions: how the truth of a composite proposition ?复合命题? is determined by its constituent propositions. --connectives in propositional logic

    III. predicate logic (谓语逻辑)translating English into a logic metalanguage

3.1 simple statements in predicate logic

Qualifiers in predicate logic

     All men are Rational. ;x (M(x) ?R(x))

     Socrates is rational. R(s)

     Therefore, Socrates is a man. M(s)

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